With the academic year in full swing, thousands of matriculants across the country will be preparing for one of the most important years of their schooling career. Marking the end of your high school journey and the start of your future, being a matriculant amidst a pandemic can be quite daunting.
While some students may be excited and ready to complete their final year, others may feel anxious and overwhelmed by the pressure. If you feel like you may be struggling to get into the academic mindset, here are a few tips to help you prepare for success.
Keep calm and breathe
It may sound cheesy but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, trying to keep calm and taking a deep breath in and out can help a lot. Keep your head above water and try not to let the pressure of your final year affect you.
Studies have shown that following simple breathing techniques can help relieve tension and bring calmness. By taking intentional slow deep breaths, your body will be able to enter a state of relaxation.
Revise and study
The year may have just started but revising your work and creating a study time table can help you in the long run. While it may seem like the obvious thing to do, being well prepared whether it’s for an exam or a subject you may be having trouble with can help lessen the load and decrease the chances of feeling anxious.
By revising and planning, you’ll also be able to dedicate more time to work you may not have understood the first time. The key to revision and studying is to ensure that it’s productive. Whether you study visually or verbally, finding a suitable studying and revision technique eliminates the possibility of last-minute cramming and procrastination.
Take care of your well-being
Having a good night’s rest is incredibly important when looking after your mental and physical health. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can lead to several negative symptoms such as depression, anxiety, lack of concentration and memory problems.
Getting a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep can help keep your mind sharp, well-rested and calm nerves.
Talk to someone you can trust
There’s no doubt that preparing for your matric academic year can be stressful. The constant pressure to succeed in assignments, mock exams and end of year exams can take a toll on one’s mental and physical well-being.
All of this pressure and anxiety can eventually build up and leave you feeling mentally and physically drained.
A really good way to alleviate some of this pent up anxiety is to talk to someone you trust. Whether it’s a family member or a peer, they may understand and empathise with your situation. Expressing how you feel can help you find focus, determination and some relief.
If you or someone you know at school may be struggling with academic depression and anxiety please contact the SADAG at 0800 70 80 90.
Beyond discounted TVs and toilet paper, Black Friday offers a unique opportunity for a complete career change. Those who’ve enjoyed working from home during lockdown can leverage Black Friday to find specials on remote work equipment.
With the latest portable tech in hand, savvy shoppers can launch a new office-free, adventure-filled lifestyle.
“Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be a great time to secure deals on things that you actually need. Those aspiring to live a location independent lifestyle should look out for products that will make it easier to work from anywhere – be it at home, a log cabin in the Hogsback mountain village, or a street café somewhere along Durban’s bustling Florida Road,” says Tom Gibbons, Director at the TEFL Academy, South Africa’s leading course provider of teaching English as a foreign language.
Gibbons recommends keeping an eye out for the following discounted items; a portable power bank to allow you to work while travelling, a sturdy laptop stand so you can turn any surface into a desk, a ring light to improve video conference visibility, along with a quality webcam and noise-cancelling headphones, to help limit distractions when you’re working in a busy space. You’re likely to get some great deals on laptops too – look out for something lightweight with a decent battery life.
In addition to physical products, Gibbons advises investing in online courses and qualifications that will help you secure guaranteed income when you’re starting out. “For example, an online TEFL qualification was a gateway to remote work long before Covid-19. During lockdown, it provided a reliable income for many people.
With increasing international demand for online English teachers, South Africans teaching online can expect to earn average salaries of between R190 and R560 per hour, depending on experience.
Beyond Covid, it presents an opportunity to work anywhere in the world with a laptop balanced on your knees, feet in the sand, and sparkling azure water just metres away.
“The pandemic has demonstrated the flexible nature of work, thanks to technology. At the same time, it’s also highlighted the uncertainty of tomorrow. The most important takeaway from this, is that there’s no better time than right now to become independent, and to make your dreams happen,” says Gibbons.
Offering accessible, flexible and cost-effective ways to get TEFL qualified, The TEFL Academy provides internationally accredited and regulated online courses. This Black Friday, they are offering up to 60% off their Level 5 TEFL courses to help you kickstart your digital nomad lifestyle.
* For more information, visit theteflacademy.com.
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